Australia 10 May: Geelong - Lorne

Children of the surf coast

A sea of artwork and shining faces awaited our arrival at Torquay P6 College this morning at 8:45 am.

So many children had expressed their creativity and strong feelings for peace in beautiful artwork – as well as through their beaming faces and smiles.

Harmony in diversity...

For the first time at any school, we needed 4 torches just to be able to 'pass the torch' between everyone – there seemed to be thousands of children!

Across the road, St Therese Primary School provided another enthusiastic reception.

The loudest, deafening applause was heard when our MC invited the teachers to run with the Torch!

After St Therese School, there was time for a short sprint along the beach ...

... and to pass the Peace Torch amongst some locals.

It wasn't far to the next school – about 6 km – so for the most part, we ran in groups rather than singly with the Torch.

Oyungerel from Mongolia is proving to be real tonic for our team – a strong runner and cheerful presence.

New Zealand, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Moldova – together in Australia...

All our delicious and nourishing meals over the past week have been supplied by members of the Melbourne and Geelong Sri Chinmoy Centres. Despite the kms we have run, we all seem to have gained weight in this time! The love, care and concern that has been showered on all our runners has been really touching and deeply appreciated.

After lunch, when we arrived at Bellbrae Primary School, the School Captain led us up the road to a nearby reserve.

The children all sat on the grass while we offered our presentation ...

This was the first time we have played the 'run around the world' game featuring the various continents.

Each flag, representing one of the continents, is stationed widely at different points around the oval.

The students each had their own 'passport' which they needed to have stamped at each continent station, to prove they had 'run around the world.'

A few of the children even ran around the world twice!

Then all of the kids ran around the whole world together.

Nelson and Asankita flew in from Auckland yesterday, and settled into their rhythm today with a smooth 13 km on the road together, into Anglesea ...

... while our girls team ran the next 12 km from Anglesea towards our next appointment ...

... at Aireys Inlet Primary School, where we encountered one of the keenest groups of children any of us could remember!

Asankita impressed everyone with his rendition of the 'haka', which left no-one in any doubt as to his country of origin.

Then it was outside to the schoolyard for a chance for everyone to hold the Torch and ask questions of all the runners.

While the Torch was being passed around the yard, one of the children went up to each of our running team to thank us in person, one by one.

An article came out in the local paper

Sue Moore, a runner-friend from Geelong, joined us for the run out from Aireys Inlet.

... while the boys meanwhile paid a quick visit to the famous Split Point lighthouse at Aireys Inlet ...

... and a brief stroll around Split Point.

People we meet along the way are usually eager and delighted to hold the Peace Torch...

It was only a short distance til all our running for the day was done.

Tonight our boys team is enjoying the tranquil, idyllic setting of Countrywide Cottages in the Ottway Ranges, north of Deans Marsh. We are so grateful to Lynn and her sister Di for their hospitality – this is one night's accommodation we shall not forget in a hurry!

Some of our girls are staying at the wonderful Lorne Cottages ...

... while the remainder were fortunate to stay at the delightful Pennyroyal Farm Cottages.